Argentina, Latin America's largest Spanish-speaking country, can seem overwhelming to visit because of its massive size and the resulting distance between travel hot spots. However with a little planning, you can craft a perfect itinerary for exploring the magnificent wonders of this vast nation.
Argentina has South America's highest peak, Aconcagua, at almost 7,000 m (22,900 ft), the tropical IguazĂş Falls of the north, the museums and culture of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, excellent ski resorts in the Andes region, and the famous Patagonia and "End of the World" region with its frigid climate and expansive landscapes.
And while the secret's out, prices for tourism are still a pretty good bargain (but on the rise) following several years of economic disaster and inflation. An above-average tourist infrastructure make Argentina an especially attractive South American destination.
Some spots not to miss on your trip to Argentina:
-- Buenos Aires is arguably the most beautiful capital city in Latin America, super hip nightlife, cafes on every corner and almost as many museums and cultural buildings.
-- IguazĂş Falls boasts 270 waterfalls rushing into a giant gorge on the tri-border of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil which span over 2km of lush jungle and has waterfalls as high as 70 m (230 ft).
-- Mendoza is home to Argentina's wine region and certainly worth a trip. Aside from sipping fine Malbec, the city boasts an assortment of plazas and parks, gourmet restaurants, and an emerging arts scene. This funky atmosphere is craddled by white-capped mountains and fast moving rivers which serve as a playground for all the traveling outdoor enthusiasts attracted to this quaint city.
-- The ski resort at Bariloche near the Chilean border up in the Argentine Andes could almost compete with Swiss ski resorts... at least in breathtaking views! Other good resorts include Mendoza, Villavicencio and Las LeĂ±as.
-- The Perito Moreno Glacier in Glaciers National Park is one of the few places on earth you can see an advancing glacier. Hike around this UNESCO World Heritage site and view the awesome blocks of ice collide and crash as the ice below melts in a setting of jagged mountains and southern beech forest.
--Cordoba is the second-largest city in Argentina and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. It features some lovely colonial architecture, a university founded in 1613 and a good launching place for day trips in the area.